Recommendations for adult health screenings
Having regular health screenings is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, because finding problems when they're small is the best way to prevent more serious medical issues down the road.
Which screenings to have when? That depends on your age, gender and any possible risk factors. These are guidelines for healthy people with few risk factors. Check with your doctor about how the screening schedule should be personalized for you.
Blood pressure: every 2 years, for prevention of heart disease and stroke
Fasting blood test for cholesterol: every 5 years beginning at age 35 for men and age 45 for women for prevention of heart disease and stroke
Colon and rectum screening: Screening for colorectal cancer should begin by age 50. There are several accepted screening regimens, so talk with your doctor about the best option for you.
Dental checkup: Every 6 to 12 months
Fasting blood glucose: Every 3 years for adults over age 45 for diabetes prevention
Glaucoma: To prevent blindness, African-Americans should be screened after 40, because the incidence of glaucoma in this population is much higher. Other adults should be screened age 65 and older, or yearly if you are severely near-sighted, diabetic or have a family history of glaucoma.
Know your numbers: Blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose are all a part of Legacy's Know Your Numbers heart health screenings. The screening fee is $35 and offered at various Legacy sites. It includes education information and a one-on-one consultation. Register online at Classes/Events for Heart and Vascular Health.
Vision exam: every 2 to 4 years, even if you don't need vision correction; yearly after age 65
Just for women
Mammogram and clinical breast exam: Every 1 to 2 years beginning by age 40 for breast cancer prevention
Pap smear: At least every 3 years, beginning with sexual activity or age 21 until age 65 for prevention of cervical cancer prevention
Bone density test: Every 5 years beginning at age 50 for prevention of osteoporosis
Just for men
Prostate screening: The PSA blood test is the most common screening tool for prostate cancer, but a high level of PSA can also be caused by other conditions such as urinary infection. Talk with your primary care physician about the risks and benefits of prostate screening.